While the Trump administration and many state leaders have pushed to end economic shutdowns meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus, not everyone believes such an approach is feasible.
Among the most notable recent examples came from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top White House coronavirus task force adviser, who said that life is not likely to return to normal for most Americans until the end of next year, as reported by TheBlaze.
“Back to a degree of normality”
The longtime director of the Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases made his startling proclamation during an interview on Friday with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell. Fauci appeared to distance his own position from President Donald Trump’s characterization of the nation as “rounding the corner” in its response to the pandemic, stating instead that he found it “disturbing” to see the consistently high rate of infections and deaths across the U.S.
Although he has been optimistic about the timeline of a possible vaccine, he said even that advancement would not be enough to fully negate the daily toll of the virus on all Americans.
“By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen until the end of 2021,” Fauci said.
Specifically referencing the benchmark of “getting back to a degree of normality prior to COVID,” he predicted it would be “towards the end of 2021.”
Fauci further appeared to throw cold water on the increasing push to fully reopen many businesses — particularly those serving customers indoors. He expressed a belief that the rate of new infections remained too high to justify congregating inside businesses.
“You have no choice”
“Being indoors absolutely increases the risk,” he said of the level of viral transmission. “I am concerned when I see things starting indoors, and that becomes more compelling when you move into the fall and winter season.”
Of course, Fauci is not a fan of large gatherings of any type, warning that being “outdoors does not mean that you’re protected, particularly if you’re in a crowd and you’re not wearing masks.”
During a campaign stop in North Carolina this week, Trump reiterated his belief that local and state economies should reopen by taking a shot at restrictions imposed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, as reported by WRAL.
“If this guy doesn’t open your state, you have no choice,” Trump said, making the case for Cooper’s Republican rival.
While there is much yet to learn about the virus itself, the negative impact is clear following months of economic shutdowns Trump wants to end.